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Sean McGowan: Associate Professor of Music at the University of Colorado Denver



Sean McGowan is an award-winning guitarist who combines many diverse musical influences with unconventional techniques to create a broad palette of textures within his compositions and arrangements for solo guitar.

His first recording River Coffee won the Best Independent Release of the Year Award (2002) from Acoustic Guitar magazine and music from the recording has been published in Japan’s Acoustic Guitar magazine and Mel Bay’s Master Anthology of Fingerstyle Guitar, Vol. 3(2005). His subsequent recordings Indigo(2008) and Sphere: the Music of Thelonious Monk (2011) offer compelling portraits of classic jazz standards performed on solo electric archtop guitar. 

Sean McGowan CD’s

“Sean McGowan is the most promising young solo guitarist I have ever heard” – Tuck Andress

Sean is an avid arts educator and currently serves as an Associate Professor of Music at the University of Colorado Denver. He earned a DMA in Guitar Performance from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and has conducted workshops at colleges throughout the country. Sean is a strong advocate for injury prevention and health education for musicians, and his workshops incorporate a holistic approach to playing. At CU Denver, he teaches of variety of acoustic and electric guitar performance/styles classes, theory, and applied lessons.  He has produced four instructional DVDs covering various facets of jazz guitar for Check out the Walking Bass & Chords example below –

“Sean’s impressive style is so musical. You are transported by his selection of songs; but within the compositions is a masterful guitarist using multi faceted guitar arrangements at the same time, creating a single guitar orchestra!”  – Eric Johnson

As a soloist, McGowan has appeared at several jazz and guitar festivals including the Novi Sad International Jazz Fest in Serbia, Healdsburg Guitar Festival, Swannanoa Guitar Week, NAMM, Chet Atkins Convention, Santa Barbara Acoustic Instrument Celebration, Jazz Aspen Snowmass, Copper Guitar Town, Pacific Lutheran University Guitar Festival, and several regional festivals including the Five Points Jazz Festival, New West Fest, eTown in Boulder, and performing for the Denver, Boulder, Cheyenne, and Seattle Guitar Societies. He has also performed concerts and conducted guitar masterclasses at several universities and conservatories including Berklee College of Music, USC, University of Oregon, McNally Smith College, University of Maine, Marin Conservatory, Bowdoin, and several others. He has been featured the past seven years as an artist-educator at the summer Swannanoa Guitar Week at Warren Wilson College, and has been invited to teach for Alex de Grassi’s Guitar Workshop, and the Colorado Kodaly Institute at CSU

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